Lt. David William Walton passed away at Rapid City Regional Hospital Wednesday, November, 14 from a brief illness and complications from medication. The Sheridan, Wyoming native was 65.
Wednesday, hundreds of people Walton touched spiritually as well as physically, gathered at Open Bible Christian Center in Rapid City to reflect on his life and the legacy he now leaves behind.
To those who knew him well, he was Dave; to others, he was a stern lieutenant. “He was a police officer here in Rapid City well for the better of 30 years,” said Lt. Mark Eisenbraun of the Rapid City Police Department. He retired about 3 years ago and was currently working part-time for us at the airport as the airport police.”
Lt. Walton was a beloved law enforcement officer, family man, friend, coach, as well as a man of his faith. “Out of all the hats he wore, his faith is what really put him on the pedestal,” said Sergio Colicheski, who coached with Walton. “Everyone wanted to be like him.”
Randy Phipps, a member of Open Bicle Christian Center and long-time friend of Walton says the news of his passing is bittersweet. “It’s sad, it’s always sad when people, when they pass away from this life but I know David had faith in Jesus and he’s in a better place, where we call heaven,” said Randy Phipps.
He was also known for being a proud grandfather and role model to the youth. Walton’s son-in-law and best friend Sherman Blanden III joked about the tough love Walton gave to the kids he coached.
“There were times when he really had to get on the boys because they were goofing off,” Blanden said. “And when he screamed at them I’d tell the coaches, hey that’s the police officer in him.”
Of the hundreds gathered for the somber yet joyous memorial service all would say Lt. Walton left a tremendous legacy behind along with big shoes to fill. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Robbin; daughter Heather; mother Bonnie, son-in-law Sherman; and grandson Kailleb.